Volcanic ash, empty airports, travel chaos, empty skies of streakless blue. I know it is a problem: our daughter in law and grandson are trying to get back from Florida and our other daughter in law's parents are stuck in Mumbai. But a little voice inside my head plays with the idea of a world with no flight, with travel slow and the world made huge again. Would we all go back to holidaying in Scarborough as I did as a child, with no more overcooked Brits shouting and peeling their way around the Mediterranean?
We'd have to give up Kenyan beans and Spanish tomatoes and at last treat seriously the idea that we should grow the food for our country in our country. What would that do to farming and food prices? I know we would devastate the livelihoods of the Kenyan producers. I'm not saying it would be some kind of Utopia, but how very different it would be.
All those middle class kids trogging round Thailand in their gap year would be reduced to interrailing around Europe, not a bad thing perhaps. All those business trips to the US and the Far East which couldn't happen any more unless we reinstated the big cruise ships sailing the Atlantic. There would be video conferencing and virtual meetings. We would all still connect with one another across by world by virtue of the internet, but physically moving people and products around the globe would become slow and costly and a huge contributor to climate change would go at a stroke.
Would we look after the world better if we were more tied to our own place again? Perhaps not. The absence of flying didn't prevent the Victorians from throwing up their dark satanic mills and city slums did it?
But still, what would it do to our world if the skies remained blue and silent and empty?
Dream or nightmare, what do you think?